How Common Are Billing Errors? You May Be Surprised

In our fast-paced, highly digitized world, it seems hard to believe that your medical bills might be full of errors. But these problems occur a lot more than you may realize.

When your healthcare provider sends a bill to your insurance company, they use alphanumeric codes to briefly describe each treatment, visit, or procedure. Even making a minor error when entering these codes can lead to changes in what you or your insurance company end up paying. 

Overbilling can be a sign that someone has stolen your medical identity—but it can also be a genuine mistake made by your healthcare provider. Either way, it can dramatically increase how much you have to spend on your healthcare, and it happens more often than you think.

Medical billing errors are common

Medical bills contain more errors than you might think—at least 75% of them contain some sort of mistake.

Three out of four medical bills have errors

Because these platforms communicate with other A 2016 study by the Medical Billing Advocates of America discovered that three out of four medical bills contained errors.

That’s 75 percent! These errors may range from incomplete information listed for a healthcare provider or patient to diagnosing a toothache instead of a headache. 

The higher the hospital bill, the more you might overpay

A trip to the hospital is expensive enough even when everything is totaled correctly. But the higher the bill, the higher the chance for a pricey error. An audit revealed that hospital bills costing $10,000 or more averaged $1,300 in errors. 

Anyone can be overcharged

Errors in hospital bills aren’t enough; the average American family is overcharged $1,687 per year on their medical bills. These can be due to genuine mistakes made in coding or they may be cases of fraud.

It’s time to protect yourself

You likely already spend a lot of money on healthcare; as a whole, consumer spending on healthcare rises by an average of 3.5 percent per year. Insurance premiums continue to rise, and out-of-pocket costs have shot up 71% in the last decade. 

Because medical billing codes require complex training to read, the average person often can’t tell when a mistake has been made.

Overbilling and other incorrect types of billing continue to occur because it’s difficult for the average person to see where their bills are going wrong. If you open the latest bill from your insurance company or healthcare provider, odds are you’re looking at the string of numbers and letters and not quite understanding what it means. Is your doctor charging you correctly? Did you receive this procedure, or a similar one with a different, less expensive billing code?

Here at HealthLock, we believe you shouldn’t have to get a certification in medical coding to understand your medical bills. Our powerful AI auditing technology takes a laser focus on each bill or explanation of benefits you receive, ensuring the services charged for are the ones you received. We can show you which bills are good to go and where you’ve likely been overcharged. 

Even better, if we discover that you’ve been overcharged in any way, we can get to work on helping you get your money back.